Elevation Tour

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Elevation Tour
Tour by U2
Associated album All That You Can't Leave Behind
Start date 24 March 2001
End date 2 December 2001
Legs 3
Shows 113
Box office US $142.8 million ($190.19 in 2014 dollars)[1]
U2 concert chronology
PopMart Tour
Elevation Tour
Vertigo Tour

The Elevation Tour was a worldwide concert tour by the Irish rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind, the tour visited arenas in 2001. After the band's previous two extravagant stadium tours, Zoo TV and PopMart, the Elevation Tour returned the band to indoor arenas with a much more stripped-down, intimate stage design. A heart-shaped B-stage extended from the main stage, while encapsulating many of the fans.

The Elevation Tour comprised three legs and 113 shows and was seen by about 2.1 million people. The Elevation Tour opened on 24 March 2001 with the first leg in North America, the second leg in Europe that summer, and the third leg back in North America that autumn, ending on 2 December 2001. The tour was the top concert draw of 2001, grossing $143 million, and was top draw in North America, with the band's 80 shows grossing $110 million at ticket prices of $45–$135.[2] Its success was capped off by the band's performance at the Super Bowl XXXVI halftime show in 2002. The tour was depicted in two concert films, Elevation 2001: Live from Boston and U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle.

Stage design[edit]

The Elevation Tour's stage design was by Willie Williams and Mark Fisher, designers of a number of U2's tours. Unlike its predecessor Zoo TV and PopMart tours, Elevation was a simpler, stripped-down affair, hitting indoor arenas instead of outdoor stadiums. The key feature was the stage, which included a large heart-shaped ramp which jutted halfway out onto the arena floor, creating a glorified catwalk. Some general admission ticket-holders were placed inside the heart, on top of which band members could walk, getting closer to the audience on both sides. Visual images were presented on scrims mounted high among the lighting rigs, sometimes in dynamic swirling fashion such as for "Kite", and even on the entire indoor surface.[3] Williams would win Live Design magazine's 2001 EDDY Award for his work on the tour;[4] the award stated, "While U2's current Elevation tour is striking in its simplicity, Williams created an almost complete amalgamation of lighting and video by using the entire space of each arena as a projection surface."[3]

Tour overview[edit]

U2 in concert of the Elevation Tour.

Lead singer Bono would reiterate during shows the promotional theme of both the tour and the new album, that after the relatively poor sales of Pop and sometimes poor reception of PopMart, "We're back, re-applying for the job ... And the job is best band in the world."[5][6]

The European leg of the Elevation Tour was also presented in arenas. However, several outdoor shows were played due to logistics and facility requirements. These included both of the Slane Castle shows, which were part of Ireland's annual Slane Concert. For these two performances, the "heart" was extended and widened in order to accommodate the more than 180,000 people who attended each gig. [7] The Turin show was played in a football stadium, with a black U-shaped semicircle extending out into the crowd instead of the heart. The Berlin show was performed in a natural outdoor arena with a tent-like structure supporting all the band's flown gear such as speaker stacks and lighting rigs. Due to the limited amount of space available for production, the top of the heart was placed at the front of the stage. During this leg, Bono regularly flew back to Dublin after each show to be with his dying father.[8]

The third leg of the tour began in the U.S. only a month after the September 11, 2001 attacks and in the midst of the 2001 anthrax attacks. This nearly led U2 to cancel the leg, but they decided to continue, starting it at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, home of the "Fighting Irish". While some fans shied away from coming to an ordinarily celebratory occasion or to a large, enclosed public gathering, many other fans did not let these events stop them. The tenor of the times dramatically affected the temperament of the shows, with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" appearing frequently in the setlist and the band's "Walk On" taking on added emotional weight.


Bono performing on the Elevation Tour.

Shows would traditionally open under the venue house lights with the Influx Mix of "Elevation" playing as the band's intro music. Elevation, the tour's title track, would then kick off the show, and would then be normally followed up by "Beautiful Day", "Until the End of the World" and "New Year's Day". Occasionally, "Discothèque" or "Mysterious Ways" followed "Until the End of the World" instead of "New Year's Day".

For the first two legs, most shows would then use "Kite", "Gone" and "New York" early on in the setlist. Sometimes "Discothèque" or "Even Better Than the Real Thing" was played between "Gone" and "New York". All tour shows would see "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" Normally, one out of "I Will Follow", "Out of Control" and "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" would be played before "Sunday Bloody Sunday". "In a Little While" would then normally be played (sometimes "Sweetest Thing" or "Wake up Dead Man" would be played), and that would be followed by a full band acoustic rendition of "Desire" and then an acoustic song, normally "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)". Sometimes "The Ground Beneath Her Feet", "Staring at the Sun" or a cover of "I Remember You" by The Ramones would be played instead.

The acoustic song would then normally be followed by the live favourite "Bad", which had appeared few times on the previous PopMart Tour. On occasions, "All I Want Is You" would be played instead. "Where the Streets Have No Name" followed up, which was played at every concert. Normally, the band would then play "Mysterious Ways" with snippets of Sexual Healing at the end of the song and a new version of "The Fly" with the Edge playing guitar and Bono performing at the end of the heart catwalk. On occasions, "The Fly" would be replaced by "Pride (In the Name of Love)". After playing either "The Fly" or "Pride", the main set would end and the band would leave the stage.

U2 would then open the encore with "Bullet the Blue Sky", usually accompanied by Bono protesting against gun crime and giving a speech against handgun crime, while using a smaller version of the spotlight he used on The Joshua Tree Tour. Bullet would then be followed up "With or Without You". The band would then normally play "One", which was played at every concert. On occasions in the first leg, the band played "Pride" or "The Fly" between "With or Without You" and "One" with the other one of those two songs played after "Mysterious Ways" at the end of the main set. "Wake up Dead Man" was sometimes played after "One", if not not after "Sunday Blooday Sunday". "Walk On" would then be played as the outright show closer.

The third leg saw some alterations to the setlist to reflect the much more emotionally poignant times that existed within America in the wake of the September 11th attacks. After opening with the same opening trio that they opened the first 2 legs with, the band would then most commonly play "New Year's Day", "I Will Follow" or "Out of Control", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "Kite". "Angel of Harlem" also made appearances either before or after "Kite".

The band's acoustic slot was moved forward, with "In a Little While" dropped altogether and the acoustic slot taking place after "Kite". Normally, "Wild Honey" and "Please" would be played. "Please" also made one appearance in its electric form, in a similar style to its Popmart performance where it would run into "Where The Streets Have No Name". Most shows however would then see be similar to the first two legs, with the main difference seeing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", played once in the first two legs, given a regular slot between "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)" while the regular for the first two legs in that slot, "Mysterious Ways", was dropped for most of the second leg.

The encore would once again contain "Bullet the Blue Sky", "One" and "Walk On". Instead of playing "With or Without You" between Bullet and One like they did on the first two legs, the band would instead play a cover of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and "New York". A few times, the band played "Peace on Earth" between "One" and "Walk On".

Overall 53 songs were played by U2 with 6 songs ("Elevation", "Beautiful Day", "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "One") played at all 113 concerts, and a further 3 tracks ("Bullet the Blue Sky", "Until the End of the World" and "Walk On") only missing one show apiece on the tour.

Super Bowl performance[edit]

Following the Elevation Tour proper, the band performed a three-song set during the halftime of Super Bowl XXXVI. The set opened with "Beautiful Day," with Bono entering through the crowd. Next was "MLK". The highlight was a performance of "Where the Streets Have No Name" in which the names of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks were projected onto a tall backdrop, scrolling up towards the sky. At the end of the song the backdrop was released, descending to the ground in a gentle revisiting of the World Trade Center's fall. Bono then opened his jacket, which he had worn throughout the Elevation Tour, to reveal the American flag printed as the lining, an image that was widely reproduced in the media.[9] In 2009, SI.com ranked it as the best halftime show in Super Bowl history.[10]

Concert filming[edit]

Two DVDs of the Elevation Tour were released. The first, Elevation 2001: Live from Boston, was released in December 2001, and included material from three different shows filmed in June 2001 in Boston at the then-named FleetCenter. The second, U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle, was released in November 2003. Filmed on September 1, 2001, it captured the outdoor variant of the show at the Slane Concert performance.

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue Opening act(s)
Leg 1: North America[11]
24 March 2001 Sunrise United States National Car Rental Center The Corrs
26 March 2001
29 March 2001 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum Nelly Furtado
30 March 2001 Atlanta Philips Arena
2 April 2001 Houston Compaq Center PJ Harvey
3 April 2001 Dallas Reunion Arena
6 April 2001 Denver Pepsi Center
9 April 2001 Calgary Canada Pengrowth Saddledome
10 April 2001
12 April 2001 Tacoma United States Tacoma Dome
13 April 2001 Vancouver Canada General Motors Place
15 April 2001 Portland United States Rose Garden
17 April 2001 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
19 April 2001 San Jose San Jose Arena
20 April 2001
23 April 2001 Anaheim Arrowhead Pond
24 April 2001
26 April 2001
28 April 2001 Phoenix America West Arena
1 May 2001 Minneapolis Target Center
3 May 2001 Cleveland Gund Arena
4 May 2001 Lexington Rupp Arena
6 May 2001 Pittsburgh Mellon Arena
7 May 2001 Columbus Nationwide Arena
9 May 2001 Milwaukee Bradley Center
10 May 2001 Indianapolis Conseco Fieldhouse
12 May 2001 Chicago United Center
13 May 2001
15 May 2001
16 May 2001
24 May 2001 Toronto Canada Air Canada Centre
25 May 2001
27 May 2001 Montreal Molson Centre
28 May 2001
30 May 2001 Auburn Hills United States The Palace of Auburn Hills
31 May 2001 Buffalo HSBC Arena
2 June 2001 Albany Pepsi Arena
3 June 2001 Hartford Civic Center
5 June 2001 Boston Fleet Center
6 June 2001
8 June 2001
9 June 2001
11 June 2001 Philadelphia First Union Center
12 June 2001
14 June 2001 Washington, D.C. MCI Center
15 June 2001
17 June 2001 New York City Madison Square Garden
19 June 2001
21 June 2001 East Rutherford Continental Airlines Arena
22 June 2001
Leg 2: Europe[12]
6 July 2001 Copenhagen Denmark Forum Copenhagen Stereophonics
7 July 2001 JJ72
9 July 2001 Stockholm Sweden The Globe Stereophonics
10 July 2001
12 July 2001 Cologne Germany Kölnarena Söhne Mannheims
13 July 2001
15 July 2001 Munich Olympiahalle
17 July 2001 Paris France Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy Stereophonics
18 July 2001
21 July 2001 Turin Italy Stadio delle Alpi Timoria, Verdena, Fun Lovin' Criminals
23 July 2001 Zürich Switzerland Hallenstadion Kelis
24 July 2001
26 July 2001 Vienna Austria Stadthalle
27 July 2001
29 July 2001 Berlin Germany Waldbühne Michael Mittermeier
31 July 2001 Arnhem Netherlands GelreDome Kelis
1 August 2001
3 August 2001
5 August 2001 Antwerp Belgium Sportpaleis Stereophonics
6 August 2001
8 August 2001 Barcelona Spain Palau Sant Jordi
11 August 2001 Manchester England Manchester Evening News Arena Kelis
12 August 2001
14 August 2001 Birmingham LG Arena
15 August 2001
18 August 2001 London Earls Court Exhibition Centre
19 August 2001 PJ Harvey
21 August 2001 Nelly Furtado
22 August 2001 JJ72
25 August 2001 Slane Ireland Slane Castle Relish, JJ72, Kelis, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers
27 August 2001 Glasgow Scotland Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre Cosmic Rough Riders
28 August 2001
1 September 2001 Slane Ireland Slane Castle Ash, Moby, Nelly Furtado, The Walls, Dara
Leg 3: North America[13]
10 October 2001 Notre Dame United States Edmund P. Joyce Center Garbage
12 October 2001 Montreal Canada Molson Centre
13 October 2001 Hamilton Copps Coliseum
15 October 2001 Chicago United States United Center
16 October 2001
19 October 2001 Baltimore Baltimore Arena Graham Parker, The Figgs
24 October 2001 New York City Madison Square Garden Garbage
25 October 2001 No Doubt
27 October 2001 Stereophonics
28 October 2001 East Rutherford Continental Airlines Arena
30 October 2001 Providence Dunkin' Donuts Center
31 October 2001
2 November 2001 Philadelphia First Union Center
5 November 2001 Austin Frank Erwin Center No Doubt
7 November 2001 Denver Pepsi Center
9 November 2001 Salt Lake City Delta Center
12 November 2001 Los Angeles Staples Center
13 November 2001
15 November 2001 Oakland Oakland Arena
16 November 2001
18 November 2001 Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center
19 November 2001 Los Angeles Staples Center
20 November 2001 Sacramento ARCO Arena
23 November 2001 Phoenix America West Arena
25 November 2001 Dallas Reunion Arena
27 November 2001 Kansas City Kemper Arena Garbage
28 November 2001 St. Louis Savvis Center
30 November 2001 Atlanta Philips Arena
1 December 2001 Tampa Ice Palace
2 December 2001 Miami American Airlines Arena

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Edna Gundersen (2005-01-23). "U2 tour has the concert business getting dizzy". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  3. ^ a b Catherine McHugh (2001-12-01). "The 2001 EDDY Awards: Willie Williams". Live Design. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  4. ^ Ellen Lampert-Gréaux (2001-11-21). "10th Anniversary EDDY Awards Presenters Announced". Live Design. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  5. ^ David Cheal (2001-02-09). "U2 make their bid to be best band in the world - further candidates need not apply". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  6. ^ Matt Dentler (2001-04-05). "beaU2ful days". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  7. ^ Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr. U2 by U2. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-077674-9. 
  8. ^ "Bono Flies Back to Dying Father After Each U2 Gig". Reuters. 2001-08-21. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  9. ^ Parra, Pimm Jal de la U2 Live: A Concert Documentary, pg. 268, 2003, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-9198-7.
  10. ^ "Top 10 Super Bowl Halftime shows". SI.com. Retrieved 2009-02-01. 
  11. ^ de la Parra (2003), p. 228-244
  12. ^ de la Parra (2003), p. 245-258
  13. ^ de la Parra (2003), p. 258-268

External links[edit]